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Summer Internships in NYC: Yay or Nay? 

Real insight from a current summer intern in NYC

New York City Skyline. Credit: Shutterstock/ Songquan Deng

Summer in New York City is an experience like no other. The city buzzes with an electric energy, the streets are filled with people from all walks of life, and to a newcomer, the opportunities seem endless. For many, spending a summer in the City is a dream come true, and an internship is their ticket in. If you walk down any street in all of New York City between the months of June and August, I guarantee you will see at least 10 summer interns. 

So, What is an Internship?

Internships are professional positions for young people, typically college students, who work for an organization in order to gain work experience or receive school credit. Internships are incredibly beneficial not only for the work experience, but also for the networking opportunities and lasting connections you will make with both the other interns in your working cohort and the executives at your company. 

Interns are typically students or recent graduates who temporarily work for a company to gain practical experience. Internships offer a hands-on opportunity to apply the academic knowledge one has learned in school in a real world setting, providing a bridge between one’s education and professional career. 

As an intern, you will be given an array of duties and responsibilities. These tasks will range from administrative duties, such as scheduling and emailing, to more complex assignments, such as creating a proposal for a client. Under the guidance and mentorship of your boss, you will learn practical skills that will help you when you arrive in the workforce. You will also enhance both your technical skills, and other less tangible skills like communication, teamwork, and problem solving. 

Business Environment. Credit: Shutterstock/ Ground Picture.

Why are People Doing Internships?

As an intern, you will quickly learn that the city moves at a fast pace, and so will you. From the moment you step off the subway in the morning, you will be swept up in a whirlwind of activity. Commuting to and from your residence and your place of work is often an adventure in and of itself. Between the crowded trains, the bustling people on the sidewalks, and the ever-present hum of the city, there remains an underlying sense of excitement and possibility that is NYC. 

Being an intern is often a crucial step into exploring career paths. By receiving real life experiences through working in an office with other colleagues, you will quickly learn whether the industry you have selected is one that you would like to pursue in the future. If the answer is yes, that is great and your internship is the first step into your field. If not, that is also totally fine. You live and you learn! You can always switch what you do, and it’s often good to test out different industries to see what seems like the right fit for you. 

If Yes to Internship, Why NYC?

Interning in New York City offers a unique opportunity to work alongside some of the brightest minds in whatever field you choose. Whether you’re in finance, fashion, tech, media, or advertising, NYC is home to an unparalleled number of companies and organizations that are leaders in their industries. The work environment can be both intense and demanding, but it is also incredibly rewarding. You will be given real responsibilities, work on meaningful projects, and have the chance to make a tangible impact in your selected field. 

Unfocused NYC. Credit: Shutterstock/ Sorbis.

The city is a hub for professionals from all over the world, and as an intern, you will attend industry events, meet influential people, and build a network that can benefit you for years to come. These events can feel unnerving and even scary at the beginning, but it is crucial that you put yourself out there, attend any and all events that are offered and take advantage of any new opportunities your company offers. 

In addition to working with business professionals, you will also meet many other college students and recent graduates during your internship. Meeting these new people with whom you have shared interests is an undeniable advantage to the internship experience. At work, you will make new friends through collaborating on a work-related project, grabbing lunch together, attending intern events, or simply engaging in fun conversations with the people who are sitting next to you. Fostering these new friendships are such a fun way to spend your summer. 

What Interns are Doing in NYC

While work is a big part of the intern experience, I would argue that it is just as important to take time to explore and enjoy everything that the city you are in has to offer. From world famous landmarks like Times Square, the Empire State Building, and the Statue of Liberty, to hidden gems like cozy cafes, eclectic boutiques, and rooftop bars, there is no shortage of things to see and places to go. 

The typical intern schedule is 9:00AM to 5:00PM Monday through Friday. This leaves you with evenings and weekends to go out, explore, and find your favorite NYC neighborhood. Each burrow has its own unique charm and character; it is important to explore each one and figure out what you like because there is a good chance after graduation, you will be moving to the city full time. 

Statue of Liberty. Credit: Shutterstock/ Kamira.

It can be really fun to go out and grab lunch during your break with a fellow intern or to get a drink together after work. Balancing your work life and your personal life is necessary. It’s crucial to stay organized and manage your time effectively to ensure you’re meeting your professional goals, but also prioritizing self-care and downtime. New York City can be overwhelming, and it’s easy to burn out if you don’t take care of yourself. 

Spending a summer as an intern in New York City is an unforgettable experience. It’s a time of growth, learning, and adventure. You’ll gain valuable work experience, build a network of professional contacts, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Embrace the challenges and opportunities that come your way, and make the most of every moment. Whether you’re grabbing a bagel from a street vendor, attending a rooftop party, or working late in a high-rise office, your summer in NYC will be one for the books.

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